I wish I could say the new changes in myself and my business are due to the upcoming start of a new year but I owe it all to my very first run in with anxiety. I'm sure my busy schedule is noticeable because I do a lot considering I have a new baby and toddler, most women take this time to relax but I can't. When you have a baby you anticipate dealing with the physical 'stuff' and the emotional 'stuff' but I never anticipated that my mental health would be affected. Postpartum Anxiety (PPA) is a monster of a beast to deal with.
If you know me personally or follow me on social media you may get a peek into how organized I am, it's borderline OCD, but it has many advantages when it comes to simplifying processes and workflows, I am all about being efficient. I will openly talk about anything, I. mean. anything., but it is extremely hard for me to be vulnerable because it makes me feel weak. I don't like to be comforted and I am awkward about receiving praise and compliments, writing about this is difficult for me but it feels good to get it all out there.
About me: I am a happy, strong-willed, serious and extremely independent person with an a hint of a sarcastic hard edge and sense of humor that is not for everyone. I am a stay at home mama and housewife that runs a business and generally has my life completely together. I probably do more in one day than most people do in a week, and that's not me being cocky, that is just who I am as a person.
About me with anxiety: I am an irritated, insecure, paranoid, extremely independent control freak who is completely OCD about cleaning & organizing. I will freak the fuck out if anything is out of order. I absolutely have no filter on my mouth and I have the occasional panic attack where I struggle to breathe and sometimes I cry out of frustration. My life is together but I question everything and I probably do more in a day than most people do in a month.
The anxiety is gone now. Praise be.
I feel like women are always warned about Postpartum Depression but I had never heard of Postpartum Anxiety, it needs to be talked about more. When I was diagnosed I was terrified that it would be permanent, the uncertainty of when and if it would go away was stressful. I think the hardest part for me was being VERY self aware of when I felt different...and then feeling completely helpless. The anxiety was not something I could just will away. It doesn't work like that. Thankfully the anxiety was not constant, it was something that came in waves, random waves. I was recommended medication but I hate medicine. So, I surely did Google "home remedies for anxiety" and reached out to my Facebook peeps. After 2 weeks of vitamins (magnesium, vitamin D, fish oil, vitamin B6, evening primrose oil, vitamin E), essential oils (lavender, ylang ylang), fresh air + sunlight and enjoying Christmas decor/cookies/music/candles way too early, I was me again.
It felt like I came up for air and I was gasping to catch my breath. It was an incredible relief. I was me again.
My anxiety was triggered by messes and feeling out of order. I needed to be in control but with a husband, toddler, newborn and 2 dogs...I could control very little, life is unpredictable with kids and pets. I could be in control of myself, my home and my business. I focused on what I could control: self-care, panic cleaning the shit out of our apartment several times a day and revamping my business.
I went back to the basics of photography. I stripped away my processes and created new ones. I hit delete and created new. I went through e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. word for word. I have read and watched more educational material than I have in my entire life, I opened my mind to new inspiration. I am so excited to start 2018 fresh! I'll share a recap of 2017 soon, it was an incredible year and has paved the way for great things in 2018.
AND I haven't formally introduced our new daughter on the blog (!!!!), this is Blake Adeline Wiley. She was born 10/20/2017 after 25 hours of labor and weighed 9lbs 4oz. Yes, she was a big baby and labor was longggggg but Brooke was born after 31 hours of labor and weighed 9lbs 5oz, I don't think I could do it a 3rd time and pop out another 9 pounder, that shit hurts, haha! We have had an amazing 7 weeks with our new babe, it's so fun getting to know her. Getting a smile out of her is really hard but when she does it is the best feeling ever and I completely melt. In some ways Blake feels like a clone of Brooke, they look so much a like and since they were the same size and born during the same season, Blake has been wearing all of Brooke's old clothes. They even both have an umbilical hernia and the same sleep habits. What are the chances we end up with 2 daughters who sleep through the night almost instantly? I feel very spoiled by that because I luh me some sleep. Blake still has blue eyes and she has brown hair which still throws me off a little because Brooke came out with very dark brown eyes and jet black hair...but Brooke's hair is more of a lighter brown now. I was on top of the game this pregnancy and scheduled portraits way in advance so we have these gorgeous maternity photos by Nicole Babcock Photography, newborn and holiday portraits by Tasha Sojka Photography and family portraits by Brittney Nestle Photography. Here are some photos of our life lately, everything from maternity to birth to holiday fun!.
Lily Anne Wiley & Lucas Skywalker Wiley AKA Lily & Luke
Happy 3rd Birthday, Brooke!!!
She chose a Christmas Tree as her birthday present. Perfect timing!
Thanksgiving Day, Yes, I have multiple matching outfits and it slays me.